tv Lectures in History CSPAN December 20, 2014 11:59pm-12:52am EST
of people's experience, people's history, the questions that people had, and what we saw as commonalities that had to be the truth because they were experiences across cultural lines, across political lines, across tribal lines. they had to the truce that we were dealing with and we had solutions here because someone had worked it out or someone had thought about it enough to anticipate what would happen after we worked it out. everyone knows a good idea when you hear it. once someone has a good idea, we would all embrace that and move in that direction, or move in another direction. so our strategy was really well-founded, well-based, well-sourced, and we understood what we wanted. we really understood what we wanted so that once we got to the -- how do you actually do this part, or this part, we
already had the answers. we already had a lot of answers. if we did not have answers, we knew that it was not appropriate for us to provide an answer, and that is where we had the leave it to the people approach. leave it to the people who are going to implement this law. that is really the thinking and the process that we went through when we did that from 1967 to 1989. we were still working on that even though we had the framework for nagpra in our national dialogue report in january of 1989. >> so this is a story that unfolds over 150 years, a 20
two-year sweep, and over a two-your sleep, representing long-term political effort, strategic thinking, coalition building, linked up with a moment of possibility, people on the ground changing social and cultural conditions within american society in a hole and i think our panelists have taken us through those scales. the quick turnarounds that is the culmination of long-term efforts of people on the ground. it is 10:45 which means it is time for us to take a break. stretch our legs. the restrooms are out to the lobby. the drinking fountain is near the entrance to the café. if you would return at 11:00 when the symposium will resume, and thank both of our patrons, patricia zell and suzanne harjo. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national
cable satellite corp. 2014] watching american history tv, 48 hours of american history tv programming every weekend on c-span3. >> each week american history tv sits in on a lecture with one of the nation's college professors. you can watch the classes every saturday evening at 8:00 p.m. and midnight eastern. next, virginia commonwealth university instructor christopher saladino talks about the competition between the u.s and the soviet union to build advanced nuclear weaponry during the cold war. he describes the concept of mutually assured destruction which, he argues, kept the u.s. and the ussr from escalating to open war since both countries possessed enough nuclear weapons to obliterate the other. this class is about 50 minutes.
>> let's recap a little bit. we segued. we talked about national security. we have talked about war, we have talked about this sort of two theater war, the second world war, how military force is reorganized historically. and we said, ok, the war is organized a certain way, but technology changes that. then we introduce the cold war. we talked about the logic of sort of the start of the cold war. what we call the cause of the cold war. but the real mitigating factor for this is going to be nuclear weapons. today we're going to talk about the rise of nuclear weapons. we started talking about the rise of nuclear weapons on monday when we talked about the original nuclear arms race, between nazi germany and the united states in the 1940's to develop a weapon and
we talked about how germany was knocked out of that through circumstances developing their research, and then ultimately germany loses the war. and now there is a war going on in the pacific theater and the united states is still trying to produce this weapon. that is where we ended up. today we will talk about that american weapon and how that became a nuclear arms race that was sort of part and parcel of the cold war. understand that the united oftes was in a sort competition with nazi germany and whoever else to create a weapon. this was not an effort to create technology and eventually sell it to the u.s. government. this was not a defense contract scam. this was a very clear government program called the manhattan project whose design ambition
was to create a deployable nuclear weapon asap. the united states appropriated a lot of money, a lot of time, a lot of effort, a lot of secrecy to make this so. and it took place all over the united states. it took place the ivy league universities. at stanforde university. it took at the university of michigan. it took place in defense contractor factories. it took place on army bases. all of these things somehow coordinated together. in fact, there was strong managerial leadership in the manhattan project. there were two strong leaders. there was the civilian leader, robert oppenheimer, the scientific leader who headed the scientific -- not just group that was working on it, but how to coordinate their input. then there was the military leader, general leslie groves, a one star general, the fully
-- a sort of brilliant public manager. smart guy. but there were money issues, secrecy issues to be dealt with that went beyond the outreach of either of these individuals. and we know historically the manhattan project was ultimately infiltrated. there were spies. there was intelligence gathering that came out of it. on the other hand, by and large, it was massively secret. the success of the manhattan project is not fully wedded to its secrecy, but certainly part of it. the manhattan project in the 1940's is trying to develop the science and logistics to create a deployable weapon. and this is supposed to be a super weapon, but no one is exactly sure what it is going to look like. it is just going to exist at this point. and then there is the idea of perhaps testing this weapon. and that is pretty scary stuff. nevertheless, a few things are very important as to how this will progress. one of them is the death of franklin roosevelt.
because we know roosevelt's ideas about the war and world war ii were very clear, sort of direct. when roosevelt is gone, the new 1945 harryy april truman, he was a very new president. he had only been vice president for a few short months. he has not been fully briefed, including key components of the manhattan project. keep in mind, he will go ahead and negotiate the end of the second world war with churchill and stalin and has to know more about what is going on. in fact, when truman comes to power or comes into the office, by this point in 1945, we were getting fairly close to creating a deliverable bomb. and an infusion of scientific knowledge from german scientists brought over very soon after the end of the war in europe in 1945 kind of helps us get to that
point whereby july of 1945, the united states believes they are ready to test. now truman is involved. and truman wants to know -- because we are fighting a war in the pacific theater -- we talked about island hopping the other day. where there were less and less islands to hop. we were getting closer and closer and closer to the japanese home islands and the action, the fighting, the combat as bad as it ever was in the first place, is getting increasingly worse. and we have the introduction of things like kamikazes. but we believe that the campaign in japan will be the costliest military campaign in history. we were afraid of that reality, but we are preparing for that reality. we have a planning commission working on invading japan by the 1945, and by the
middle of 1945, truman gets word that that bomb may be ready. in fact in july 1945 he gets a phone call that says essentially the gadget has worked. the bomb that they were going to test was called the gadget. the detonation, the whole project, was called project trinity. the trinity explosion of the gadget or this nuclear weapon is successful. on july 16, 1945 in almagordo, new mexico, the united states detonates the bomb. we do not drop it from airplane. we detonate it. a bunch of people watch it. a bunch of people take readings and testings. it is a scientific event for most people. but we now have a bomb and we have a bomb that can be deployed, and we know what this bomb will do. and what the bomb will do will far surpass what most people's expectations are. we have a nuclear weapon. we have a super weapon. and we are at war with japan and we are losing about losing -- we
are worried about losing one million to 1.5 million people in an invasion in japan in the next few months. what are we going to do? the decision ultimately rests with president truman. famously known as "the buck stops here." truman's decision is in hindsight far more wrenching that it was at the time. not to say the morality of using this kind of weapon on japan would have zero ramifications and zero impact on the decision-maker or the world, but we couldn't really anticipate necessarily what letting this cat out of the bag would do for the entire planet. once we drop a nuclear weapon on somebody, the world knows what it is, and its reaction will be gauged accordingly. but nobody knows what it is. when truman is asked to make this decision, essentially nobody knows what it is. nobody can say, like we all can,
this is what a nuclear weapon is going to do. so, truman has to weigh the factors, and there are those in the military command who say, we can end the war with a bomb, do it tomorrow obviously. well others are still planning for invasion of the home islands of japan. my history professor in grad plannings on that commission and he said, we were still preparing to go to war when we heard this bomb was dropped. but we had a lot of experience behind this as well. it was not as though the united states said, we do not want to invade japan, that would be too costly. what we had done to get to that point was pretty costly. to go through what a canal and uadacanal and g
and palau and 100 amphibious campaigns to get to where we are now, each one increasingly more bloody on both sides. including civilian casualties. and our experience there is probably sufficient to dictate if we have the opportunity to use a different weapon to try a different path, no matter how staggering perhaps what we were going to do. there were back channel communications with the japanese, telling them perhaps you should surrender. telling them perhaps this is not the path that you should stay on. the japanese are not willing to surrender. most japanese are not willing to surrender at all. there is a military code that says we fight until we lose, which is until we die. but there are those who suggest maybe now is the time to negotiate. but there is a sticking point and that sticking point is what will happen to the emperor of japan, emperor. hirohito.peror the united states says there is no negotiation. if you agree to surrender, you surrender. there is no response from the
japanese. they are not going to give up the emperor. they are not going to give up territory. they are preparing for an invasion. truman decides to use the new device, the atomic bomb, to end the war. so on august 6, 1945, one single b-29 bomber which you can go see up in dollars, the air and space, the smithsonian air and space museum up in dulles. a fairly small looking aircraft call the enola gay. a b-29 bomber. for the day, it is huge. for today, actually quite small. att of unimpressive to look until you realize what it did. the b-29 bomber, the enola gay, dropped one single bomb, the little boy, on hiroshima, japan.
one single bomb, which in 48 seconds completely annihilates the city of hiroshima and completely changes not only the war, but the world forever. the pilot of the plane, became a bit of a celebrity for dropping the bomb and said the crew was completely unaware. they did not know. it was a bomb run. it went pretty much without a hitch. things went really good. they would have said good job. there was no real explicit clarity about what had just happened until they started to look, until they felt the shock wave and saw the mushroom cloud rise for miles after making a banking turn and getting the hell out of there. and they thought to themselves, what have we done? what they did was they annihilated the city. the completely and totally destroyed hiroshima. you have seen these photographs. we know this. this is generations ago for us, but the impact is still pretty intense if you think about it,
because three days later we drop another bomb on japan and never again will a nuclear weapon be used in anger. and knock on veneer, it never will. since that time, those are the only two detonations. theyet, three days apart, united states drops two nuclear weapons on japan and destroys two cities, killing effectively hundreds of thousands. the united states drops the bombs. and hopes for a response. there are mixed evaluations of this response. some say we should have given the japanese more time to respond. others are almost absolutely certain the japanese would not cave. some say that the japanese were not sure what happened. communications were destroyed.
it takes people to go to and say, this is what happened and somehow report back to tokyo. whatever the case, it is irrelevant today because on august 9, another b-29 bomber, this one called the boxcar, drops another atomic weapon -- a different form of atomic weapon. the fat man is a different kind of bomb. we will talk about these types in a second. , japan. nagasaki hada and some military value, not much however. keep in mind, american bombing in japan has been constant. it has been in sus sent. cessant.
the firebombing of tokyo killed more people than pretty much each of the nuclear weapons did and those were conventional firebombs. but the united states had not brought all kinds of devastation on japanese citizens through the bombing campaign, but with a single device, an entire japanese city is wiped out. these weapons we are dropping are atomic bombs. they are fission-based detonation, which we will talk about in a second. they release exponentially significantly less than the weapons we use today, yet exponentially more than the biggest bomb we would have been able to drop in world war ii. in fact a 2000 bomb dropped by bomb yields 2000 pounds of explosive force. an atomic weapon is going to yield in kilotons of detonated force. what would a kiloton be? 1000 tons.
you know metric already? yes, 1000 times. 13,000 tons of tnt in a single bomb. from atons on nagasaki single bomb. maybe it is not purely the force of the destruction of the event, but the force that the threat of a single bomb that only we possess is what is most important. it is hard to say. whatever the case, we know that nagasaki is also destroyed. thousands and thousands killed in the short term, by blast, by heat, by being vaporized. and many more killed by radiation. in fact, many people would argue there are still being killed to this day. the japanese get the picture. they understand our threat which is we will use these bombs on your cities until you surrender.
how many bombs did we have left in reserve to drop on japan at that point? deployable at that moment in time? zero. did not matter. the japanese commit to a full, unconditional surrender on the uss missouri with all sorts of nations in attendance and a very formal ceremony, the japanese signed unconditional surrender papers in the war is over, but the nuclear world has just begun. and bizarrely or whatever, it becomes the new war in a sense. because within the next few months and effectively within the next two years, the cold war is deeply underway and in that confrontation with the soviet union that will last until 1990,
1991, for the first several years of that war, the united states has a nuclear weapon and the soviet union does not. what does this weapon do? well, it blows up. massive amounts of force. but there was a test and there were small tests beforehand. there was a clear understanding of what the bomb would do in theory and in practice, we realized its potential in a sense. the bomb is designed to emit massive amounts of last force -- force. the bomb is designed where heat pushes that force. a fireball, if you will, pushed by force, and it is going to emit a whole lot of radiation by this point in 1945 we know is deadly. we know in our testing, in our lab work in new mexico, we know that massive release of
radiation will kill a human being, and some of our people are killed. yes? >> [indiscernible] >> why didn't we use the atomic bomb on tokyo? because then who would surrender? some will argue the reason we selected the cities was not simply for the demonstration effect -- we can bomb any city. there is no safe place. which some would argue is terroristic. but we wanted to see what the bomb would do to a target that was relatively untouched. this is not uncommon. we want to see what the weapon does in practice. but also you make a demonstration effect. the city can be destroyed. you don't know what city can be destroyed. and we are threatening to annihilate all of your cities if you do not surrender. yes?
>> [indiscernible] >> what is that? >> [indiscernible] >> debatable. because there is no third bomb. we can't replay that and say, oh -- well, they would have. hiroshima and nagasaki were never the primary targets. they were among a target package. whatever the case, the cold war is now kicking in and we have a weapon that does this and no one else has this. people have argued if we look at some influential propaganda films of the 1950's where we start to not talk so much about radiation and we show funny animations where people just wear some extra clothes and the radiation will bounce off of you. that seems hilarious in hindsight, but it is sort of dishonest in that we knew from the 1940's that radiation was sufficient to kill human beings
and they were being exposed to massive amounts of radiation. that is how the bomb works. these ultimately are designed to do this. you are going to be killed, destroyed, annihilated, vaporized by massive heat, massive force, massive radiation. you don't get a choice. these are fission devices. these are what we would call today sort of crude -- we use this word all of the time. it is a "crude nuclear weapon." i would argue all nuclear weapons are crude. but these are based on something that is much more simplistic in terms of its physics than the big modern weapons of today and the cold war. not a physicist. if you are, keep it to your self .
here is the explanation for me and my fellow non-physicist friends in the room about how this bomb works. talk about crude. this is a crude explanation. these bombs use nuclear fission. in the most simplistic way possible the nuclear fission process is to take a processed fuel. in these cases it would be enriched uranium or plutonium. what you want to do is you want to trip a nuclear chain reaction, which is going to be done through heat energy, inside a container that we will call a bomb. that will release this nuclear chain reaction and release this massive amount of exponential force. pretty simplistic as i said. i believe it has something to do with e equals mc squared and that einstein guy. not the bagel guy. how do you do this? well, you have to miniaturize a fairly substantial detonation, a massive explosion that is going
to produce maximum heat and direct that heat to a fuel base, and this will trip -- this is where you get your principles of critical mass and the release of energy. you have to split these atoms, right? this is a very simplistic explanation. very difficult to do circa 1945. you need a bomb and a bomb that channels that energy to this fuel to release this reaction and then you get a massive explosion. fission is state of the art in 1945. fission is not state-of-the-art today, although various people peopleough very few still have it. so, to do this requires a lot of science, it requires a lot of development, it requires a lot of money, and it requires a lot of secrecy. and it produced these weapons that did these things that we have to say, ultimately, in
1945, we are pleased with the results. it sounds awful. the war is over. vj day is huge. the war is now completely over. it is not we have stopped fighting in europe and we have to fight in the pacific theater. the united states has effectively won this war. american technology has won this war. given the advent of the cold war, that is a big deal as well. and we now live in a nuclear world. when we talk about the cold war, we talk about the superpowers splitting the world in half and defending from each other with massive amounts of nuclear weapons. there is only one state with nuclear weapons in 1945 and 1946, seven and eight. we have the bomb. and the cold war become sort of crystallized. the cold war becomes the cold war over the next few years.
by 1949, it is what we would say "hardened." harry truman is saying in the truman doctrine, we must contain. these important documents. the long telegram by george kennedy. the mr. x article. winston churchill saying there is an iron curtain. all this time while the united states has nuclear weapons and the soviet union does not. and yet the weapons are not used again. good. but we know -- clearly we have discussed -- obviously, they -- that it won't stay this way. our greatest fear is when the soviets will get the bomb. but one thing the soviets do is work that much harder to get the bomb, not simply in their own science, their own technology, their own military, but they start to use espionage. and the cold war becomes a war that relies there he heavily on spying, on espionage, and our manhattan project gets penetrated even greater, even
further. become partecrets of what the soviets used to put their bomb together. the soviets now need the bomb. we have it. they need it. in august of 1949, we enter into a nuclear world where the two sides, the two primary belligerents in this new cold war have nuclear weapons. the soviets detonate an atomic bomb in august of 1949 and now it's on. the race now becomes to produce the most nuclear weapons and the biggest nuclear weapons. and that starts in earnest. but it's more of a technological race early on. it's not quite as much of a bulk. it's not quite as much of a let's build thousands of atomic bombs, but let's build bigger atomic bombs.
plenty of them. but instead of being 10, 20 kilotons, 50, 75 kilotons. massive, massive amounts of force. threatening, posturing. the science does not stop in the background. the scientists believe we can harvest even more ideas and create even more technologically innovative bombs, and we do. in the early 1950's, the notion of nuclear fusion is investigated for weapons making purposes. and the united states are the first in that sort of chain to detonate a thermonuclear weapon. a hydrogen-based bomb. the h-bomb. we detonated first. interestingly enough, what we detonate is not a bomb. it's not a missile, not a rocket, not a hand grenade, not a firecracker.
it is too big to be deployed. we detonate a device on november 1952. the ivy-mike detonation is the first thermonuclear detonation and it is massive. the footage is impressive. but we can't deliver it. it would be like dropping a house out of an airplane. we do not know how to detonate the bomb. but we can show the world and especially our adversaries the soviets, we got this and you don't. in a world where we are arms racing now, we take a significant lead, technologically speaking, for a very, very short time. the soviets respond with their own device in 1953, and it is a deliverable bomb. in our mind for the first time in the nuclear arms race, the soviets take a bit of a lead. which will be how we see it for
the next 40 years. the soviets detonate their own thermonuclear device, massive detonation, and the americans become increasingly more nervous. but in 1954, we detonate our own thermonuclear device, a thermal -- a fully deliverable bomb, a warhead. we destroy the bikini atoll. naming two-piece bathing suits once and for all, finally. who knows what they would have been called otherwise. now both sides have this new technology and are able to deploy this technology and no one is looking at the science of the bigger bomb. now they're looking at the science of more bombs and how to deliver the bombs, because this bomb is massive. the exponential detonative power of the nuclear device compared
-- noan atomic weapon less the entire rest of the world has no nuclear weapons -- is wholly impressive. here comes the bad physicist part two, except this time he is even worse. the physics behind these fusion devices is even more difficult to explain for a non-physicist and even more difficult for a country to produce that does not have massive amounts of time, money, effort, political will. fusion detonations are pretty strange in that they require in a new set of enriched materials of atomic or i should say nuclear fuel, they required a heat source of a fission detonation to trip the chain reaction. in a sense, you need to miniaturize an atomic explosion
inside a bomb casing and deliver it to these new fuels to trigger a fusion reaction. this takes a lot more time, a lot more money, a lot more effort. scientifically it is a lot more scary. the risks are higher. the ukrainian blooms -- the uranium blooms that come from these weapons are a lot more expensive. and they never see thermonuclear status. it is that much more difficult. thus the first detonation is a massive structure. it is not an actual bomb. by today, obviously we have these sufficiently that can hold a thermonuclear device. not hold it, but i can stand around it. i am large, but still. now both sides have these sort of cataclysmic weapons, and while they do build bigger weapons -- keep in mind a
smallish, a small thermonuclear device might be measured in megatons. what is a kiloton? 1000 tons. what is a megaton? [mumbles] kiloton is 1000 tons. megaton is -- [mumbles] we are adding zeros to the detonative force. it is this much more than a kiloton detonation which is this much more than a 2000-pound bomb which is the biggest most people have. these two states are distancing themselves and they are fighting each other in this cold war by producing more and more and more of these and bigger and bigger and bigger of these weapons. fair enough, i guess. welcome to the 1950's.
now at a certain point we realize that what we really want to make sure is that they don't use their big multiple megaton kiloton weapons on us and what they understand is they don't want us to use our big weapons on them. we are balancing power all over the world. we have talked about this whole idea of balancing power. we look outside the world, we see the world split into do. we see soviet power in american -- and american power pushing up against each other. when they gain, we have to gain and balance back and when they gain, we have to gain and balance back. and no one is negotiating. they are building more weapons. we are building more weapons. and we realize at a certain point that the key now is to understand a new meaning of the word "deterrence." us, deterrence, according to
your textbook, according to what we say in class, deterrence is using a threat to prevent the other from doing what they might want to do. i am going to stop you from ever doing that -- i am going to deter you with my threat. and if my threat is credible, you won't do it. that is deterrence. in conventional war, deterrence happens, but it also failed. and the deterrence failure in a conventional world may result in a big war, but it may not result in a big war. if you say i do not what your troops to cross this border and , and yourterritory troops do it anyway, we may not have a world ending more. war. we might, but we might not. and we probably won't. but now was nuclear weapons, deterrence becomes a very absolute proposition. i will threaten you so that you don't use your nuclear weapons. and if my threat fails and you
use your nuclear weapons, what happens next? we have no idea, but it doesn't sound very good. in fact, the nature of my threat against you for not using your nuclear weapons is to use my nuclear weapons. it's all i have. i can't say if you use your nuclear weapons i won't sell you grain anymore. not really effective. so, my threat to you is, if you dare to use your nuclear weapons, i will use even more of my nuclear weapons. if deterrence fails, i have to use my nuclear weapons, and i know if i use my nuclear weapons, you will use yours and we will annihilate each other. how do we avoid that? by making it so. we do not negotiate away from it. both sides independently and then collectively accept this is where we are. that the only way to threaten
someone to not use the nuclear weapons is to threaten them with ultimate annihilation and destruction, and vice versa. and essentially they shake hands on it. the 1950's produced the logic of mutually assured destruction, appropriately acronymed mad. mutually assured destruction says exactly that. the threat has to be absolute. it can't be, well, if you do this, i may do one of these things. it has to be, if you go across this line by using a nuclear weapon, i'm going to use a lot of nuclear weapons against you and destroy you, knowing fully well that you will destroy me. i am willing and i am credible in this threat, which means a lot of threats, a lot of gamesmanship, a lot of what we call brinksmanship. a lot of taking things to the
edges of the lines. and being scared to death in the process. oddly enough the american public and the soviet public kind of accepted overtime. those of us who are old like me, i remember in kindergarten i had to do a nuclear weapons drill. ok, we would put our books on the table and the teacher would say put your books on the floor, because if a nuclear weapon detonates and you are under the you to get not want hit in the head with a book. good point. we would walk to the shelter. we would pee along the way. we had one teacher who would say, walk in a straight line and no talking. i would like my nuclear holocaust drill to be very orderly. ok. i had a little name tag. yellow vulcanized plastic with a riting.ding -- w they said, even at temperatures of 3000 degrees fahrenheit, no
matter what happens to your little body, this will stay, so they will know where you were. they tied it around your neck with a string. really, a piece of string. we accepted this. this became policy and it became sort of acculturated. nobody liked it, i don't think. but this was the case from the 1950's into the 1980's. we still have a mutually assured destruction policy implied with the russians today. no one is going to launch anything because we know what the follow-up is. but this requires a lot of stuff to make this work. you can't just say it. that is insufficient. in order for mad to work, we have to make sure we say if you bomb us and try to destroy our stuff, we will be able to return fire. what we call sometimes the second strike capability. so if you do try to preempt and you use your weapons to destroy us and are successful in some
way, shape, or form, we have plenty left over to destroy you again. to make this work, we have to deliver the bomb effectively. we start working on delivery systems. and a lot of them. we start working on newer, bigger, better bombers. right? we delegate eventually -- we develop eventually the b-52 bomber, a big giant aircraft that we know mostly for shuttling the space shuttle, but it is designed to drop a nuclear weapon. we know it drops conventional weapons in places like iraq, afghanistan, vietnam, cambodia. because we have not dropped any nuclear bombs on people again. good. we come up with missile systems. we develop a ballistic missile. ballistic missiles were not
brand-new. the germans developed them and used them successfully in world war ii. the v2 market, launched from france, and england. the icbm, the intercontinental ballistic missile. the united states relies on what we call the triad, a three prong, guaranteed no matter what you do to us, we will be able to drop increasing numbers of nuclear weapons on the soviet union and affiliated targets, no matter what. the triad relied on these bombers. and in fact, we put bombers in the air all the time. for 30 years, there were always american nuclear bombers in the air, equipped and ready to drop if necessary. so, if you destroyed the land underneath them, they could go to their targets. beyond the bombs themselves and the planes, we have
intercontinental ballistic missiles. hard missiles. silo-based. right? amazing inverted tubes into the ground. we put a team of air force personnel into that tube with a sophisticated computer system and very, very sort of explicit failsafe warning systems. so, no one can go, hey, guys i -- time to launch the weapon. inside the tube was a big missile and inside that missile, a megaton warhead. they were all over the place. they were dug in rural areas in south dakota and the american desert and the american southwest. all over the place. hard missiles. icbm's. big rockets. one goes up in the air, falls away. push it to the target. another stage falls away. now it is traveling, and there was a bomb and it dropped into
the atmosphere, found its target through the guidance system and would detonate, if need be. besides the bombs and missiles, we figured out how to launch these same missiles from submarines, and the third leg of our triad were called slbm's. still have them today. submarine launched ballistic missiles. a pretty scary thing. from polaris to trident missiles, the missiles we have on ourselves today, a submarine can hold a payload of 10, 12, 24 ballistic missiles. a submarine can stay deep and silent, be out of range, be on unavailable for attack by the enemy. if you blew up my icbm's with some lucky attack, they could set up and each one law but does
in one megaton missiles of the soviet union and affiliated targets. so maybe 30 or 40 nuclear missiles would hit their targets, which is utter annihilation. you can't not stop us. you can't prevent us from destroying you. and we can't prevent you. they have a similar triad. they have much more emphasis on ballistic missiles. they have mobile missile launchers. we took the lead in subs. they took the lead in mobile launchers. they have more missiles. then we have more missiles. they have more bombs. then we have more bombs. one thing we know, increasingly we have more and more warheads. right? we have an arms race. they get more, we need more. balance of power, realism, got to do it. but now we need this to guarantee the second strike capability. we have to be able to say, ok. no matter what they do, we will be able to hit them again, and there is a belief that the more they have, the more significant
that first hit will be and we need more. hitthe reality is a first will still only take out x percentage of our arsenal, leaving us with massive amounts of arsenal to hit back, as well as they. as we increase the numbers, we believe we are just ratcheting up the level of second strike capabilities, but in hindsight, many analysts say we achieved third, fourth, ninth, 12 strike capability. long after we are gone, bombs will be dropped. subs will surface and go, i guess they are all gone. launch more missiles. because that is what our orders are. that is what the package says. that makes for an even scarier scenario and more incentive not to do it, but also more gamesmanship, more brinkmanship, more tension, more need for failsafes, more need for communication with the guys you do not want to talk to. we got to put a red line in there, a hot phone. what is this? you can talk directly to the soviet guy and say, stop the
bombs. it was a mistake. it was a flock of geese. we start to make fun of it. we will show the movie called "dr. strangelove." you will laugh hysterically at it probably, and i will go, whew. it's so funny, it's almost true. and bigger bombs. the soviets donate a bomb called -- tsar bomb which is 50, 50, megatons. which is like an earthquake. these soviets want to work on what is called a doomsday device. we say, that is terrible. a bomb so big, there is no telling what it will do. and then so do we. we do not have them anymore, not that we ever really did, but they were ideas for sure. in order to make this all work, we have to demonstrate to them two key things and they have to demonstrate it to us.
for deterrence to work there are two key factors. the first one is my threat must be capable. capable threat simply means i possess the power to do this. i can't say if you try to mug me i will hit you in the shins with a baseball bat if i don't have a baseball bat. for me to say i will respond with all of this nuclear arsenal, i have got to have this arsenal and i have got to demonstrate it. i have got to show you every was once in a while. what you think of that mushroom cloud? that could happen to you. we let each other know, while trying to maintain secrecy. it is a tight balance. and i have got to be credible. i actually show i do mean it. that i will not assume a nuclear hit or to get and say, ok, i surrender.
so, we have to push. we have to show up and say, we will use the weapons, even though you say you well and vice versa. -- even though you say you will and vice versa. this makes it not funny. this makes it not pleasant. this makes it far more scary. but both sides must do this, so that the other knows damn well they will not back down. and it works. weirdly enough. we continue to develop delivery systems. better technology with a ircraft, better technology with missiles, better technology with lasers, countermeasures. better technology with smalling up the weapons. miniaturization. and then we get to these things called mirv's. mirv technology suddenly makes this whole thing slightly exponential.
a mirv is a multiple independently targeted reentry vehicle. i will try that again after this. mmm. aspartame makes things clearer for me. multiple independently targeted reentry vehicle. everybody knows what a mirv is, right? let's look at it. that's the bus. that's on top of the rocket. that is on top of the missile. stage one, stage two, stage three. and now what is left is that. and each one has these groovy little machines there, a a one megaton nuclear warhead. there are 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 warheads on the top of that particular missile. that is an american missile. a mirv now allows you to put
from three to as many as 12 warheads on the tip of a single missile in the nosecone. and to drive the bus over a target and send them out in a spread of independently targeted detonations where they fly over areas and drop one or two and continue to fly and drop one or two. making any attempt to shoot down the missile much less effective and making any attempt to wipe out our ability pretty strike pretty ineffective. imagine one -- one -- u.s. surfacing withe 18 missiles, each one tipped with 17 kiloton warheads. endgame. all i need is a sub and i got a dozen. all i need is a couple icbm's and i t